Near-threatened species do not currently qualify for Critically Endangered, Endangered, or Vulnerable but are close to qualifying for or likely to qualify for a threatened category shortly.
“Near Threatened (NT)” is a category used by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) to identify species that do not currently meet the criteria for Critically Endangered, Endangered, or Vulnerable but are close to qualifying for or likely to qualify for a threatened category shortly.
Species are classified as Near Threatened when studied and evaluated. They are found to be likely to move into a threatened category in the medium-term future if the negative factors causing their risk of extinction continue. These species are often at the tipping point, and further pressures on their survival could lead to their becoming Vulnerable, Endangered, or Critically Endangered.
Classifying a species as Near Threatened signals that while the species is relatively abundant or well-distributed at the time of assessment, certain aspects of its biology or external threats may render it susceptible to rapid decline. This could be due to habitat loss, pollution, overhunting, disease, or climate change.
Examples of Near Threatened species include the Emperor Penguin (Aptenodytes forsteri), whose populations are likely to decline rapidly due to the loss of Antarctic sea ice, and the African Elephant (Loxodonta africana) in certain regions where it faces threats from habitat loss and poaching.
The Near Threatened category is essential as it helps identify species that could be threatened shortly, allowing preemptive conservation actions to prevent this. These actions could include habitat protection, regulation of hunting and trade, and initiatives to mitigate other threats to the species.
Discover Animals that are Near Threatened (NT):